Guernsey Press

Bain up to second in the 1,500m list

CHRIS BAIN put on a show of Belgian brilliance last weekend to fully establish his place among Guernsey’s all-time giants of middle-distance running.

Chris Bain (front) battling unfamiliar opposition at Ifam Outdoor Brussels. (Picture supplied, 33272679)

Although Alastair Chalmers’ second-place finish in the elite 400m hurdles race was the more internationally significant result from the Ifam Outdoor Brussels, it was largely a run to par for the aspiring Olympian.

In the lower heats of the same competition, Bain edged up to third in Guernsey’s all-time 800m rankings before jumping right into second for 1,500m, where he also shattered a prestigious U23 record.

The 21-year-old raised eyebrows on the Saturday by charging to a heat victory over 800m – the distance where he has the greatest track record – in a personal best of 1min. 51.55sec.

He now sits behind only Keith Falla and Lee Merrien in Guernsey’s 800m rankings, having overtaken Tom Druce.

But his conjuring of a 7sec. PB the following evening marked an even bigger breakthrough.

Falla’s U23 record of 3-50.20 was in the firing line when Bain lined up over 1,500m.

Already on track to beat that, he then dropped a sub-59sec. final lap to secure second in his heat and squeeze past the Guernsey legend’s outright best.

His 3-48.19 clocking has only been surpassed by Merrien locally and Bain, who was competing in only his second track meet of the season, is hungry for more.

‘I can’t quite believe how well the weekend went,’ he said. ‘I expected it to take a few races to click into gear over the shorter distances, so to run those times right out of the gate I’m very happy.

‘Winning the 800 so comfortably gives me real confidence that there’s already more in the tank for next time, so dipping below 1-50 may be on the cards.

‘For the 1,500, I was targeting Keith’s U23 record and thought I should have enough strength to just about get there if I ran well.

‘So to pass straight through the 3-50 barrier at first time of asking far exceeded any expectations I had and makes me incredibly excited for what the rest of the season may hold.’

The Netherlands’ Nick Smidt won the 400m hurdles convincingly overall, clocking 49.02, as Chalmers finished second but outside his season’s best in 49.55. He had edged classy Irish athlete Thomas Barr by 0.03sec.

Intriguingly, fellow Great Britain athlete Josh Faulds had upset the overall pecking order by running a huge PB of 49.24 in a lower heat. That makes him the only GB athlete other than Chalmers to have met the discipline’s European Championships standard this season.

Star sprinter Abi Galpin opened up her competition by taking third in her flat 400m heat with a 55.48.

Going over 200m the next day, she repeated that position with a 24.19.